News

Gung Hey Fat Choy

On behalf of Ontario’s New Democrats I want to share my warmest wishes to everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year both here in Ontario and around the world.

I also want to thank the Chinese community for their tremendous contributions to our province’s cultural and economic strength.

The lunar New Year is a time for togetherness, as families gather and we as a province get the opportunity to reflect and celebrate the strength and diversity of the Chinese community here in Ontario.

2016 is the year of the monkey – a symbol of great ambition and adventure...and  I hope this year brings you and your family great joy, health and prosperity.

Xīnnián kuàilè

 

Job numbers show Liberals letting Ontarians down: NDP

Catherine Fife, Ontario NDP Finance Critic and MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo,  responded to new jobs numbers released today by Statistics Canada. She said the numbers show that the Liberal government is letting Ontarians down and failing to protect and create good paying jobs.

 “Good, stable jobs are disappearing and people are feeling more and more worried about their family’s future” said Fife. “This is true for people whose jobs are at risk after a lifetime of service; for young people who’ve graduated from Ontario’s colleges and universities with a mountain of debt and uncertain prospects; and for business owners who are finding it harder to balance their books.”

Statement from NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on health care cuts in Hamilton

Today, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath (MPP Hamilton Centre) released the following statement regarding the impact of Liberal cuts at St. Joseph’s Healthcare:

“It is devastating to see the impact of the Liberal government’s cuts to health care in Hamilton. Nothing matters more to Ontarians than access to health care when we need it. In fact, every family in this city relies on our hospitals to be there when our loved ones fall sick. But, somehow, Premier Wynne has decided to cut our hospitals to the bone, instead of protecting what matters most. The Liberal government’s four-year freeze on hospital funding is pushing St. Joe’s to make deep cuts to frontline care and eliminate 136 jobs. There’s no doubt that laying off frontline health care workers, including registered nurses, will impact patients and their families. It’s completely unacceptable for a government to be this out-of-touch with the needs of Hamiltonians. New Democrats will hold the Liberals responsible for cuts to health care in Hamilton and right across Ontario.”

Northerners deserve weekly progress reports on Nipigon bridge repairs: NDP

Wayne Gates, Ontario NDP Transportation Critic, sent the following open letter to the Minister of Transportation regarding the status of the Nipigon bridge repairs.

Honourable Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca
Ministry of Transportation
 
RE: 
 
Minister Del Duca,
 
                I am writing this letter in the aftermath of the Nipigon Bridge failure which occurred just two months after the construction of the bridge. As you know the failure of the bridge and ensuing delays caused a great deal of stress for Northern families, brought Canadian trucking to a halt and revealed serious safety concerns for Northern Ontarians who depend on that infrastructure. 
 
The bridge failure not only severed Western Canada from Eastern Canada but caused the delay of millions of dollars’ worth of economic activity which routinely crosses the bridge. More troubling than that is the fact that the failure has left Northern communities wondering whether or not the infrastructure they depend on is safe and reliable during Canadian winters.

Open letter from NDP Labour critic to Premier Wynne regarding Goodwill store closures

Open letter from Ontario NDP Labour critic Cindy Forster (MPP Welland) calling on Premier Wynne to take action after hundreds lost jobs following the closure of Goodwill stores across Ontario:

Dear Premier:

I am writing to urge you to take immediate action into the closure of Goodwill stores in seven communities across the province leaving hundreds of hardworking people and their families in limbo.

As you know, on January 18th—without warning—Goodwill Industries closed all 16 of its stores in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia and Brockville, putting more than 430 people out of work.

 

Commit to Hydro Debate says NDP's Lundquist to Liberal candidate

Whitby – NDP Candidate Niki Lundquist is calling on local Liberal Candidate Elizabeth Roy to defend the Liberal government's sell-off of Hydro One and has challenged her to debate the issue. 

"Kathleen Wynne is selling-off Hydro One without there having been an open and public debate about the issue,” said Lundquist. “I’m challenging the Liberal candidate to debate and defend this wrong-headed sell-off that she has publicly supported.”

Lundquist issued a similar challenge at last night's Whitby Chamber of Commerce All Candidates Forum -- a challenge that Liberal Candidate Elizabeth Roy ducked.

“This by-election is a chance for  Whitby and Oshawa to send a message loud and clear that the Premier’s shortsighted sell-off of hydro must stop now,” said Lundquist. “During the last provincial campaign the Liberals never once hinted at selling-off Hydro One. This time the Liberals can’t hide from it. This community, along with the millions of Ontarians, are opposed to this sell-off deserve to be heard.” 

Last year, Whitby Town Council joined over 190 other municipalities in passing a resolution expressing the town's desire to keep Hydro One public. As Regional Councillor, Liberal Candidate Elizabeth Roy was one of the few dissenting voices voting against the motion.

Liberals must answer for the gas plant scandal and cover-up: Statement by Ontario NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson

Ontario NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson issued the following statement:

“Today as Premier Wynne slips out the back door on a trip to India, two top Liberals are being hauled before the courts to answer charges of breach of trust and mischief after allegedly destroying government documents linked to the gas plant scandal.

As much as Premier Wynne tries to put distance between her and this shameful situation, the facts remain. Not only did Ms. Wynne sit at the cabinet table and sign off on the decision to waste over a billion dollars of public money on the gas plant scandal, but as Premier she shut down committee hearings before legislators had a chance to get to the bottom of the Liberal cover-up. There’s nothing open and transparent about the Wynne Liberals. This is the same government that’s facing multiple police investigations. 

It is our hope that Ontarians will finally get the answers they deserve and that the courts will finally shine some light on a scandal that Premier Wynne would clearly prefer to keep in the dark.”

 

 

Andrea Horwath to Speak at Stand Up for Steel Event in Hamilton

 Stand_up_for_Steel.png

Hamilton needs good jobs, and a reliable tax base. Seniors need pensions and benefits, and the environment needs to be protected. Let’s rally together to keep Stelco producing and to stop the CCAA courts from hurting our community.

Join Andrea Horwath as we Stand up for Steel on Saturday, January 30th at 1:00 PM in front of Hamilton City Hall at 71 Main St. W.

For more information, visit: www.usw.ca/standup

Statement by Ontario NDP Pensions Critic Jennifer French on an Ontario public pension plan

Jennifer French, Ontario NDP Pensions Critic and MPP for Oshawa, issued the following statement:

“Ontario New Democrats believe that everybody in the province deserves to retire with dignity and to share in the benefits of an Ontario public pension plan. We are concerned that the Premier’s plan could exclude seasonal workers, contract workers, and far too many precariously employed Ontarians who though vulnerable, may not be considered “eligible” for the ORPP.

Every Ontarian deserves fair and equitable access to a public pension plan no matter where they live in the province and what their occupation is.”

NDP demands Premier listen to Northwestern Ontario calls for stop to public service cuts during pre-budget consultations

During the provincial government’s pre-budget consultations in Thunder Bay today, Ontario NDP Finance and Treasury Board Critic Catherine Fife demanded that the Premier listen to people in Northwestern Ontario who are calling on the Liberal government to stop cuts to public services families depend on, to invest in job creation, and to stop the sell-off of Hydro One.

 “Premier Wynne needs to start listening to people in Northwestern Ontario, who are telling to her to stop the Liberal’s cuts to healthcare and education, to put the brakes on the fire sale of Hydro One, and to begin investing in the creation of good family-supporting jobs,” Fife said.

Statement from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on Tamil Heritage Month and Thai Pongal

It is with great pleasure that I join in celebrating January as Tamil Heritage Month.

New Democrats are proud to have worked alongside community to recognize and honour the important contributions that people of Tamil heritage make to our province.

We recognize the extraordinary strength of members of the Tamil community to overcome hardship, struggle for justice, and prosper.

In doing so, setting an example for all Ontarians to support neighbours, care for all members of the community, empower young people and actively engage in the expression of democratic rights.

Statement from Catherine Fife, MPP Kitchener-Waterloo, regarding letter from Minister of Health on cuts at Grand River Hospital

The Liberal government has been forced to admit that they have not been adequately funding Grand River Hospital to meet the needs of families in Waterloo Region. 

Yesterday’s letter [attached] from Minister Hoskins says he’s making “methodological refinements” to our hospital’s funding. Everyone knows that’s just double-speak for 'I’ve made a huge mistake.' 

Families across Waterloo Region found out this week that the Liberals have created a $10 million budget shortfall for Grand River Hospital, forcing the elimination of 68 positions. That’s in addition to the at least 770 registered nursing positions that have been cut across Ontario in the last year, as a direct result of the Liberals' four-year freeze on hospital funding. 

Cutting frontline care hurts patients. The Liberals need to stop cutting the health care that families need.

Northern Ontario families deserve a government that shares their priorities

Families in Northern Ontario need a government that considers their needs and priorities like jobs, health care, winter highway maintenance and affordable hydro all year-round, not just at an one-off cabinet meeting, said France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt. 

“The Liberal government cut health care, cut the ONTC, cut winter highway maintenance, continues to sell-off Hydro One while bills sky-rocket for families in the North,” said Gélinas. “And now businesses and families have been left reeling after the damage to the Nipigon River Bridge has left a transport lifeline for Northern communities and commerce severely damaged.”

The Liberal cabinet meeting in Thunder Bay comes days after the $106 million bridge, open for less than two months, failed in its first encounter with a northern Ontario winter.  

STATEMENT BY ONTARIO NDP LEADER ANDREA HORWATH ON BY-ELECTION IN WHITBY-OSHAWA

This by-election is an opportunity for this community to elect an MPP who shares their priorities. Someone who will fight for the kinds of jobs that can support a family -- jobs that give people hope and security -- and someone that will work hard to stop the cuts in Health Care and Education.

It is an opportunity to elect a local MPP who will join the fight against the Premier’s short-sighted and costly selloff of Hydro One, and who will work tirelessly towards creating an Ontario that is on your side and delivers opportunities for everyone.

This by-election won’t change the government, but it is an opportunity to send a message that the Liberal Government can’t ignore.  Voting for Patrick Brown and the Progressive Conservatives is a vote for more of the same. Ontario’s New Democrats are looking forward to giving Whitby-Oshawa the opportunity to do something different this time. 

I know that Niki Lundquist is the kind of strong woman Whitby-Oshawa needs to deliver the kind of change the community deserves.

NDP Transportation Critic calls for answers on Nipigon River Bridge

Ontario NDP Transportation Critic Wayne Gates (MPP, Niagara Falls) is asking if the Liberal Government investigated whether the contractor for the Nipigon River Bridge had sufficient experience and knowledge of conditions in Northern Ontario before awarding the contract.

“The top priority needs to be making sure roads and bridges are safe for Ontarians. That means listening to local knowledge. The government needs to explain whether there was sufficient local knowledge and expertise to ensure this bridge could deal with a Canadian winter,” said Gates, the Niagara Falls MPP. “This threw people into chaos, and it threw businesses who rely on cross-Canada trucking into chaos. Getting this wrong has major consequences. Ontarians need to know we can trust our transportation network.”

Statement by Ontario NDP Health and Long-Term Care Critic France Gélinas regarding the Premier’s visit to Lakeridge Health

“Healthcare should be about keeping people healthy and meeting the needs of patients. New Democrats know that means making sure the system works for the people who need it the most.

Instead, the Liberal record is clear: last year, at least 625 nursing positions were eliminated across Ontario. The Liberals have frozen hospital budgets for four years, leading to deep cuts in hospitals across the province. And instead of listening to the NDP call for 5-day homecare, the Liberals have left seniors waiting 200 days or more for the home care they need.

 

Ontarians need a transparent and independent review of Darlington business case: Statement by NDP Energy Critic Peter Tabuns

"The Liberal government shouldn’t keep the people of Ontario in the dark when it comes to the Darlington refurbishment. This government has not provided a proper business case that clearly and transparently examines the costs, benefits and risks of this project. This project needs a transparent and independent review. 

Ontarians have good reason to be disappointed in the Liberal government’s handling of the energy file. From the gas plants scandal to the sell-off of Hydro One, time and time again the Liberals have shown they can’t be trusted to stand up for Ontarians. 

Instead, we are seeing rates go up again, Ontario families that will be left with the bill and with no clear rationale as to why this is the best way to go forward.”

 

Statement by Andrea Horwath regarding Liberal Progress Reports

Last year saw this Liberal government grow more and more out of touch with the needs of Ontarians. Today’s announcement shows that 2016 will be no different as the Liberal government remains stubbornly focused on selling off more of Hydro One, rather than solving the problems people and families face. 

While the Liberals keep making the same choices that leave people behind, New Democrats are focused on creating the kinds of good, stable jobs that can raise a family and build a stable future; we will stand with the millions of Ontarians who are against the sell-off of Hydro One; we will put a focus on quality health and long-term care for our parents, and quality education for our kids; and we will be focused on building a province that delivers opportunities for everyone.